DM: How did you get your start in Mixed Martial Arts? Were you an athlete before you started training? What sports have you played, if any, and at what level?
LP: I started in MMA because I was still training and competing in wrestling and it was just a natural progression. I had bills to pay and you only get a small window to be a competitor. I have wrestled my whole life. I was also a great football player, receiving all-state, all-conference, and defensive player of the year awards twice in high school. I also competed in soccer, track, rugby (college), judo and sambo.
DM: Which fighter(s) would you compare yourself to? Have they influenced the way you fight?
LP: I would compare myself to Jack Dempsey, Jake Lamotta, Mike Tyson (young). They have influenced me by their toughness and tenacity. They were intimidating because they did not care about themselves, they had wreckless abandon that scared people.
DM: What motivates you to do what you do? What inspires you to fight?
LP: My motivation to fight is simple; I am a competitor at heart. I hate losing more than I like winning. I feel fighting chose me and this is what I was born to do.
DM: What do you consider to be the highlight of your career thus far?
LP: The highlight of my career thus far is not applicable to be conversed about because every fight outside of a major organization is just preparation for a career highlight.
DM: On the day of a fight, how do you prepare yourself?
What is your routine that day from the moment you wake up until the start of the fight?
LP: I prepare myself on fight day by telling jokes and relaxing. I keep things in perspective. Its only a fight and nothing else matters for the next 15 minutes. I tell myself the truth about what is real--i.e. I worked hard, I paid my dues and I have 15 minutes to see the fruits of my labor. I just stay loose.
DM: If you could pick one way to end every fight, what would it be?
LP: The way I would love to end every fight if I could would be vicious knockouts!
DM: Some time has passed since the Gomez fight. What happened? How are you feeling about it today?
LP: The Gomez fight was a very lopsided fight in regards to my surroundings. I knew that if the fight was close he would win. Miguel is the “mayor” of
DM: You’re back in
LP: I am back in
DM: Tell us about camp, who are you training with? Did you bring anyone in to work on anything specific with you?
LP: My training camp was on-point, I just missed out on a few things here and there. I am still learning about my coaches and they are learning about me. I am training with
DM: Your decision to drop down to Middleweight; what prompted you to make the change?
LP: The drop to middleweight has always been on the back of my mind. I always knew it needed to happen but I was winning so I did not see a need to drop. I never really had time or was in a position to do so. Now I am in a great place to make it happen.
DM: What are you doing to prepare yourself for the drop in weight?
LP: To drop to middleweight I am just adding more cardio-based workouts and getting in to a more catabolic state. I am also eating less total calories with an emphasis on protein boosting and carb-depleting and cycling.
DM: Is there anyone in particular you’ve got your eye on in that weight class?
LP: I don't have my eye on anyone in particular in the middle weight division but I do know that I am going to be a menace to any and everyone in the division.
DM: Where do you see yourself in a year? In three years?
LP: I see myself in Strikeforce or the UFC in a year. In 3 years, I see myself being a top five fighter.
DM: You may not want the day to ever come, but what are your plans for after your MMA career?
LP: When my career is over I want to have made smart investments with my money and I have plans for restaurants, bars and merchandising as it pertains to my brand as a fighter. I would like to be running a company that is an umbrella for other endeavors.
DM: How will you want your career to be remembered? What will you do to make sure this happens?
LP: I want my career to be remembered as Ali was remembered. I want to have a great legacy but I want my legacy to pale in comparison to the mention of my integrity and fighting spirit.